Monday, September 24, 2012

Gingham Style

image from the neo-traditionalist

image from cococozy

image from Absolutely Beautiful Things

image from Canadian House and Home

image from Matchbook Magazine

Set to the tune of this song, because it's Monday. And Monday calls for dance parties and home decor.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Getting an Edge

Preppy: Pants from JCrew | Shirt from JCrew | Bracelet from JCrew | Blazer from TopShop
Boots from Coach | Purse from Shopbop
Edgy: Jacket from Rebecca Taylor (however I'd most likely buy this Zara one
Necklace from Loren Hope | Clutch from Kate Spade | Shoes from Aldo

Every time I read a magazine, I am constantly reminded that your 20s are the time you are supposed to experiment with your clothes. After reading this for the 9 millionth time in the September issues it finally hit me that the majority of my experimenting has involved picking out that one item from JCrew that doesn't seem quite as preppy. I have not so many years of this 20s experimentation left to go; so I figured it's high time to get on it. Thus, my friends, I am off to find my wild side (which is most likely not so wild).

If you've seen me out, you will know that the first outfit is one of my staples. The boots and bag are a little different, and I've got some sequins on my stripes, but you get the idea. Here's my attempt at mixing it up: add a color I never wear (green), throw on some heels (which I never wear either), and rock a leather jacket. Leather shoes and bags, sure, all the time. Leather coat? Nope, not so much. But...there's a first time for everything!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Gallery Wall: Real Life

SamanthaFrench on etsy | inkstomp on etsy | eyepoetryphotography on etsy

A couple of weeks ago, I convinced my husband to hang some pictures in our breakfast nook area. Immediately after they were hung, I looked at them and told him that I had changed my mind and wanted to do a gallery wall instead. Live and learn, right?

So here's a little sample of what our breakfast nook gallery wall is going to look like. I have several of these pieces and am in the process of buying the ones I don't have. Plus, I have a couple of paintings from Italy and Barcelona to throw into the mix. I'm pretty excited how it's starting to shape up with all the bright colors and reminders of fun places we've traveled. Now I just have to work on convincing Kyle he needs to hang more art...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Around the Newstand

I was finally able to catch up on my September issues and the WSJ this weekend and thought I would share links to a couple of interesting pieces I read.

I work for a non-profit, and I found the WSJ's "Why Can't We Sell Charity Like We Sell Perfume?" to have some thought-provoking points. My eyes have really been opened to the financial situations of non-profits since I started my job in April and am always on the look-out for articles or books that provide interesting perspectives.

Obviously, we don't do politics here on Sit.Relax.Gossip. I'll leave that to the better informed and well-spoken among us. So, regardless of political affiliation, the profile of Chelsea Clinton in this month's Vogue was really interesting and inspiring. It's not too often that I come across women close to my age that are role-models for something other than posing in magazines, and I found the article to be a little eye-rolling at times but mainly one of those pieces that I walk away from and say, "Umm, what have you been doing? It's time to get up and get busy." My mind is rife with ideas right now, and I feel pretty excited to start the week. So thanks, Chelsea.

End of Summer

flowers from StyleMePretty | Anna Karenina from Amazon | blanket from Serena and Lily

I know in some parts of the world, it actually feels like Fall. However, down here in Texas is what I like to consider my favorite part of summer. Temperatures are in the 80s during the day and dinners outside aren't ruined by armies of mosquitos. So, mis amigos (in reality I'm guessing we're only talking about amigas here), are some of my favorite things to do this time of year.

1. Panzanella salad is a weekday staple around here. I like to grill my veggies (onion and sometimes red pepper) and toss lots of garlic on my bread before I make croutons. Throw in some cukes, spinach, and basil, and you have the perfect fresh salad. 2. Sunnies are all over the groceries stores around these parts, and I love to scoop them up and place them in vases all over the house. The only problem I have found is that our new pup seems to think fresh flowers are a fine delicacy. 3. Anna Karenina is coming out in theaters in November, and I've never read this (huge) classic. I'm thinking I might need to start now to finish it before I see the film. 4. My absolute favorite thing (besides driving down small country roads in Texas) is opening all the windows once the weather gets cooler, turning on the fan, cuddling up with a good blanket, and reading for hours. My husband will quickly tell you that this is the least economical thing I could possibly do, but hey, sometimes you have to splurge, right? 5. It's still a little too hot to apple cider, but this summer I've come to love drinking hard cider. It's refreshing while still giving that comforting apple flavor. Harpoon is a new favorite, because it has a lot of flavor and is all natural. Plus, around these here parts, we believe sulfites = bad. 

Anyone else have late summer activities you love? 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Goop + JCrew

all images from

I mean, you expected this, right? Gwyneth Paltrow (my lady crush) + JCrew (my go-to) combined into one? Obviously we were going to talk about this. First of all, can you think of a better collaboration than these two? My bestie epitomizes preppy chic with a twist, and of course she styled it with a little California laid-back elegance. I kinda hate that almost every item of clothing is JCrew Collection, but I wouldn't expect anything less from Ms. Paltrow. Plus, JCrew has such a similar aesthetic across the board that you could mix in some other pieces and get the same look.

In other JCrew news, SS13 continued to the bold patterns and bright colors with a mix of florals and pastels thrown in. Here's the thing about fashion, I have stripes, a jean jacket, some loud clothes, but I would never think about putting them all together at once. Oh JCrew stylists, teach me your ways. 

image from

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Fall Book List

Get your Christmas wishlist ready, because I have some books for you! Every blog I'm reading is talking about Fall fashion, and you know what, I'm excited about riding boots too. But what is really exciting me this Fall is the release of three bookss from my favorite designers. (If Ruthie Sommers was releasing one too, I wouldn't even know what to do right now).

If you're into the ethnic, laid-back California vibe, then Nathan Turner's American Style is your book of choice. Plus, he was just so cute on Million Dollar Decorators. (Comes out October 1st)

Miles Redd is king of over-the-top traditional with a twist. His use of color is like no one else, and I'm pretty sure he's never met a lacquer paint he doesn't like. I'm right there with ya, Miles. Miles Redd's Big Book of Chic comes out October 23rd.

The perennial favorite of bloggers, Amanda Nisbet's book Dazzling Design comes out this week. She epitomizes fun, preppy style with a great use of graphic patterns and bright colors.

I've pre-ordered all three, and I'll let you know what I think!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Kitchen

If I had some photography skills, this would be a lot better, but I thought I would show a little look at our kitchen. Let me start off by showing you how the kitchen looked when we moved in:

Once you see the other pictures, you'll realize that we really didn't change too much in here. We loved the big, white cabinets from the beginning and were lucky to have quality appliances. Our goal all along was to change out the black and white tiled countertop and backsplash (a little too '50s and hard to clean) and repaint the pink walls. Trust me, this place was pink. It's a little hard to tell in the pictures, but we're talking newborn baby girl pink. 

First of all, we don't get much natural light in here; so I know the color looks a little crazy. We updated the backsplash with subway tiles and dark grout and went with Carrara Marble countertops. We had really been thinking about a white granite but found out marble would cost us the same amount. Since we don't have that much counter space, we decided to go for it. I pretty much kissed them when they were laid down. 

Then, I changed up some of the knobs to make them more visible from the clear glass we had, and we painted the walls navy blue. We were set on white paint, but I woke up in the middle of the night one night convinced we needed a navy kitchen. We happened to have a sample of navy paint; so I painted a little square with the hopes of convincing Kyle. He was pretty hesitant but ended up loving it, and now he's convinced he needs a navy study.

So there it is, the one place in the house I spend most of my time. (Mainly because the dog treats are in there). I just wish I had better photography skills and some natural light so the pictures didn't look so wonky!
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